BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) - A Baldwin County man convicted a number of times of exposing himself, is being tried for the first time as a felon under Alabama's new indecent exposure law.
Dana Stegall arrived at the Baldwin County Courthouse around 10 a.m. Tuesday, like he has dozens of times in the past, to stand trial for indecent exposure. But this case was different, because if convicted Stegall would be headed to prison instead of the county jail.
"I seen that there needed to be some changes and I talked to some representatives and senators in our area, and thankfully they pushed to get the law changed," 'Christi' said.
'Christi', who didn't want her name released, pushed for the change in Alabama's law after she she was victimized by Stegall more than two years ago. He was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail on the misdemeanor charge. He has been convicted several times of similar charges including lewdness, indecent exposure and distribution of obscene materials.
"It didn't matter how many times a person had done something like that, the sentence was still 6 months in a county jail. And, like I've been told this particular individual had done this over 30 something times, and something needed to be done," she said.
The law that 'Christi' fought for makes the charge of exposure a felony for anyone convicted three or more times. Stegall is accused of exposing himself to two women at a Robertsdale gas station in March.
Therefore, if Stegall is convicted this time, he could be handed a sentence from one to ten years in prison. 'Christi' hoped that the new law, which passed in September, would be enough deterrent to prevent another person from being victimized by Stegall.
"But, if so, there would be a law in place that would maybe combat this behavior. And pretty much putting individuals like him in the State of Alabama on notice. We've got something to deal with people like you now, you just don't get six months in jail and a pop on the hand," Christi said.
Stegall's lawyer told jurors during her opening statement that Stegall was not the first person of interest in the case.
Cali Armstrong said Stegall wasn't even considered as a suspect until one of the victims asked police about the "Robertsdale Flasher" after she talked with a friend. Armstrong said the two victims relied on a photo of Stegall that was provided by the other friend to single him out.
The lawyer also said a man on a bicycle seen on the store's surveillance video could not be identified. Armstrong said Stegall may or may not testify during the trial.
The judge said he expects the trial to wrap up on Wednesday.
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